Saturday, March 31, 2007

is there such a thing as a secondhand punch to the neck?

Recently, PNC Park (the Pittsburgh Pirates' park) decided to ban smoking. As a person who is allergic to smoke, I think this is great. I hate having to walk through clouds of smoke in restaurants, concerts, etc. I also hate having to take an allergy pill every damn day because people smoke outside my office building. But my coworkers who smoke don't bother me, really. The smoke on their clothes is what makes me sneeze all day long, but it's not as bad as being next to someone who is actually smoking. If I haven't anticipated being around a smoker, my eyes get red, itchy, and watery, so I get a nice raccoon-eye look going on. Oh, and my throat swells, my tongue feels huge, and I want to peel my face off just to scratch underneath my skin. It's a lot of fun.

"But Amanda," you may be saying, "Why not just constantly take your allergy medicine? Wouldn't that be more convenient for you?" This is an excellent point which I must counter with the suggestion you go shove a pack of cigarettes up your ass. No, I don't want to have to take my allergy medicine 7 days a week, 12 months a year. It's not more convenient for me to have to use my money to pay for medicine I wouldn't have to take if other people would just be the slightest bit considerate. It's not that hard. Just don't smoke when you're shoulder-to-shoulder with other people. The heroin addicts don't shoot up right next to me. Go hang out with them. Or, alternatively, just wait a little while.

So scads of smokers have been writing in to the Post-Gazette about how this is an injustice, how they're being unfairly persecuted, and they should be allowed to make everyone miserable and give us cancer, too. One of their favorite points is that fatty foods are harmful, too, so why not ban them as well? Another excellent point. Except, the opposite of that. If I eat a box of cupcakes, it's not going to be pretty, but the person next to me isn't going to get cellulite. Also, if you don't look at me, you're instantly removed from the situation. (This is because I don't chew like a wildebeest. Expect my upcoming rant on table manners/another group of people I want to flip off a roof.)

Getting the idea? No? Okay, then let's address their next pet point. People drink BEER at ball games, too! And a lot of them get drunk! And, hey, they have to get home somehow! So PNC Park should stop enabling people to drink and drive! Something should be done! Rumor has it that drunk driving is illegal already. Also, I have seen drunk people get in a car and have someone else drive. Through some complicated maneuver I myself have taken part in yet am also mystified by, drunk people can get home without driving. It's almost supernatural. So I guess it's understandable that some people aren't familiar with this amazing new idea.

Also, it is possible to not do everything in excess. I know that as Americans, we seem to think that we are constitutionally assured the right to do whatever we want whenever we want, but recent studies suggest that other people have rights as well. Like the right to not be exposed to other people's carcinogens. I'm pretty sure that's not an amendment, but if they can find some sort of constitutional reasoning for banning same-sex marriage, then I'm going to continue to assert that I have the right not to get cancer. Cigarette smoke has been linked to just about every type of cancer, including cervical, which I will be at increased risk for until I die or have a hysterectomy. I don't need you making any decisions for me regarding what other risk factors I'm exposed to. I also have high blood pressure and take birth-control pills. So thanks -- I've been meaning to schedule a blood clot and stroke.

And I realize there's a difference between secondhand smoke and actually smoking. If there's only one bullet in the gun, it's true that it's less likely to fire than an empty chamber. But that doesn't mean that putting the gun to my temple and pulling the trigger is good for my health.

I've had it. I've had it with the smokers who think their right to suck on tobacco fumes supersedes my rights to live and pursue happiness. (Those words sound familiar.) I've had it with their desperate attempts to justify their filling my lungs with smoke that contains the vilest things imaginable. I've had it with them acting like they're victims and that one day, all the smokers will rise up and demand voting rights, the right to integrated education, and that non-smokers-only drinking fountains will be a thing of the past. Oh, that's right.

So I now declare that I have the right to wildly swing my arms all around me. (How unfortunate for the people who are occupying the space that I was planning on using.) I encourage the rest of you to do the same.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

i <3 dell

I just kissed my new computer several times because all I had to do was plug in my printer, and it said, "Hey, a new device! I know exactly what to do with this! Zing! You may now use your new device!" which was thoroughly refreshing, because my printer is about 6 years old and I think the installation disks are in Narnia.

And now I feel very old. I also am a little weirded out that I carried my new computer downstairs and I'm still online. I know that's the whole point of wireless internet, but I still get weirded out when things work like they're supposed to.

I just kissed it again. The fact that I was printing out part of a grad school application has absolutely nothing to do with my elation. Nothing at all.

By the way, I think just the fact that I went through over 10 completely different drafts of my response to "Discuss your writing objectives" means that I require graduate school. The fact that I keep kissing my computer means I may need therapy.

ccb and the bookbinders: a new kind of self-publishing AND a hell of a band name

It seems that my fanclub is growing. Either that or someone I know is playing a joke on me. Or I really am awesome enough to inspire a cult-like following among impressionable youths. On an unrelated note, someone remind me to sign up for a PayPal account.

Despite my apparent awesomeness, things have sucked around here for a while. I adopted a doggie whose first order of business was to run away. While dealing with the heartbreak of losing my dog (and I cannot express to you how truly horrible I feel -- I may have had a miscarriage once, and I'm infinitely more upset about this) I have also had to deal with the dog-search nazis. These people. Oh, god, these people. They don't seem to understand that I still have to go to work and I cannot be everywhere at once. (Oh, yeah, and there's the fact that this dog happens to be brilliant and has no desire to be caught.) The head crazy person asked me if I've ever had a dog before. Um, yes. But only for about 15 years. Who is still alive, by the way. And my mother, who raised two children to adulthood without any loss of limb or kidnapping incidents, obviously needs help checking a dog trap set in our own yard.

Not only does this woman like to ask me insulting questions, (such as whether or not I am setting out food for MY OWN DOG) but she also enjoys fine dining, existential discussion, and addressing adults as though they were retarded children. We all know how I enjoy it when people speak to me as though I have a vocabulary of about 12 words. It always makes me want to be pleasant and gracious and not leave fingerprints.

My mother and I have always had a certain way with animals, but I'm a little angry. (Just slightly.) Phrases like "I am Snow White, bitch," have been running through my head, but the anger detracts from the fact that the wild deer that sleep in my yard aren't afraid of me. And that more than once, I've had wild bunnies who got to know me and would let me sit right next to them. Or that all my life, when dogs in our neighborhood were lost, they'd come into our yard. Or how about the time a dog led me to its friend that had been chained up in the woods behind my house? Or how about how I got my cat -- I walked outside and a feral cat ran over to me, threw herself onto her back at my feet and started purring. I'm goddamn Cinder-fucking-ella. Mice have never made me a ball gown, but they have let me pick them up and take them outside. And I've never had bluebirds sing a duet with me, but butterflies like to land on me all the time. I've stepped on a wasp in my bare feet and didn't get stung. In fact, I've never been stung or bitten by anything. Except mosquitoes. Because I'm lovable AND delicious. I have twice stepped right next to an angry rattlesnake and didn't get bitten.

I think we all know what I'm getting at here. I should cut this bitch. Or possibly sic an army of impressionable youths, adopted grandparents, and rogue wildlife on her. CCB and the Bookbinders, I'm going to need you to get on that. You can hide out with the Texas grandparents for a while afterwards.

(For those of you confused about the CCB and the Bookbinders thing, check out the comments on some of my recent posts. I totally love this kid and the vaguely frightening level of devotion he seems to have for me.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

why i'm like this (part 934)

I'd just said something I'm not going to repeat here lest I offend certain persons who probably don't read this anyway, as they are most likely much too busy reading the Bible. Anyway.

Mom: You are going to rot in hell.
Me: That's okay. You'll already be there to introduce me around.
Mom: You will need no introduction. You'll already know everyone there.
Me: "Guys! What's up?!"
Mom: "God damn it, Amanda!"
Together: And that's why it would truly be hell.